Bend It Like Beckham is a classic story of the traditional versus the new. Jess appears to be like a lot of other daughters of Indian immigrants, growing up in England. She gets good grades, has never gotten into serious trouble with the law, and listens to her parents. On the inside, though, she is battling the constant conflict with being true to herself and being what her family and culture dictates she should be. She comes from a loving traditional family often tell her who she should be. Anything different from tradition was risky, strange, and a little scary. At first her family appears overbearing and dysfunctional, forcing everyone to fulfill certain roles and not ...view middle of the document...
When she gets the opportunity to go to America and play soccer for an American college, she feels she has to choose between making herself happy and making her family happy.
Assessment of Culture and Ethnic Traits
Jess’ family is a lower-middle/middle-class family, living in a townhome that they own in a suburban-type area outside of London. They own a home and cars with only one primary owner. Both daughters live at home, the older of the two, works at the local airport, like their father. Jess is a teenager, looking forward to college. The surrounding community appears to be primarily Indian immigrants with children who have grown up in England, like Jess’ family. This presents different cultures within the family between generations, which is often a source of conflict. The decision-making comes almost completely from the parents. They have the most say in small and large matters: what career Jess will take, how Jess will dress for parties, how she will spend her days now that she was out of school for the summer, much of which is explained as her being a “good Indian girl.” This appears to be a cultural thing, not something singular to this family. When Pinky’s fiancé’s parents mistakenly think they see Jess kissing a white boy in public, thus bringing dishonor to her family, they make the decision to call off the wedding, a decision neither Pinky nor her fiancé have any say in.
Assessment of Development or Functional Competency
The mother wields the most power in the home, while her husband tends to agree with and enforce what she says, but he is not a complete pushover. His authority is respected pretty equally to his wife’s as head of the house. Jess’ sister is very different and has different priorities from Jess. Most of the time, they are at odds with each other. In times of need, though, such as when Pinky is depressed over her broken engagement or when Jess needs someone to cover for her when she has a game out of the country, they are there for each other. Jess’ parents place a very high value on their children’s achievements. As another mother says, “All I know is children are a map of their parents” (Chadha, 2003). The achievements and failures of the kids are seen as a reflection of the parents. As such, they place a lot...